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Thread: Getting Free Stuff From CTC - Legally!

  1. #1
    Active Member DavidLeR's Avatar
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    Getting Free Stuff From CTC - Legally!

    Many consumers are unaware of the "Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code" (also known as the "Scanning Code of Practice").

    Several store chains in Canada (including Canadian Tire) have agreed to abide by the following code:

    - If the scanned price is higher than the "correct" prices (i.e., the lowest price shown on the shelf, in a flyer, or on a display), then the customer gets an EXTRA $10 off the item.

    - If the correct (i.e. lowest) price is $10 or less, the customer gets the item for free.

    Pretty cool!

    Stores usually have black-and-white notices near the front door or near the cash registers. See the links below for an example.

    Keep in mind:

    - Cashiers (and even managers) may be unaware of this policy (even if there are signs all over the store).

    - The "correct" prices is the lowest displayed price.

    - It isn't enough that they give you the lower prices; they have to take off an EXTRA $10.

    - They have to give you $10 off the LOWER price (not the higher price).

    - If you are buying more than one of the same item, you only get an extra $10 off the first item you are buying, but for the other items, you only pay the correct (i.e., lowest displayed) price.

    - If they don't fix the problem right away, and you go back to buy another of these items in a separate transaction, the same rules apply all over again.

    - The cashier is supposed to be authorized to give you an extra $10 off (or a free item) right on the spot. In fact, if you point out the error, they are supposed to OFFER the $10 discount. However, you often have to go to Customer Service.


    Some cashiers/managers will try to argue you out of this, but the extra $10 off applies even if:

    - They forget to remove "old" price tags from the shelf after a sale ends.

    - The flyer contains an printing error (which they didn't fix in the flyer you have).

    - You catch the error before the sale is finalized.

    - You catch the error after the sale is finalized.

    - Head office didn't tell them the correct price.

    - They run and take down the incorrect price tag from the shelf ("See - we fixed it").

    - They say, "Well the correct price is x, so that's what you have to pay".

    - They didn't intend to deceive customers with a mis-stated price.

    - The computer is wrong.

    - Someone at the store made a mistake.

    None of that matters. A low price was displayed, and a high price was scanned, so you get an extra $10 (or a free item).

    Also, the store cannot decide that, since the code is "voluntary", they aren't going to follow the code that day (or for you, or for this product, from now on, etc.).

    If it's a Canadian Tire store, they have to follow the code. If they refuse, you can register a complaint at 1-866-499-4599.

    ----

    Some web sites and signs are a little vague on the details, but the best source seems to be the Cashiers' Pamphlet, here:

    http://www.cfig.ca/docs/gov_EnglishCashierDocument.pdf

    See also:

    Competition Bureau of Canada: Competition Bureau - Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code - Pamphlet

    Retail Council of Canada: Retail Council of Canada: Advocacy & Policy - National: Consumer Protection - Code of Practice: Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code

    Have fun with it!

  2. #2
    Active Member DavidLeR's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Free Stuff From CTC - Legally!

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLeR View Post
    - If the scanned price is higher than the "correct" prices (i.e., the lowest price shown on the shelf, in a flyer, or on a display), then the customer gets an EXTRA $10 off the item.

    - If the correct (i.e. lowest) price is $10 or less, the customer gets the item for free.

    - They have to give you $10 off the LOWER price (not the higher price).

    - If they don't fix the problem right away, and you go back to buy another of these items in a separate transaction, the same rules apply all over again.

    - The extra $10 off applies even if they forget to remove "old" price tags from the shelf after a sale ends.
    Here are some ideas to take this a step further:

    - Use those in-store scanners to see if an item scans at a higher price. If so, you know you should get it for free or with an extra $10 off. This gives you time to practice your speech about their store policy.

    - Take note of the isle and location of the lower-priced sign or the spot in the flyer with the lower price. This speeds things up, when they check for their own error.

    - If you intend to buy more than 1 of the incorrectly-priced items, buy them one-at-a-time, to get the extra $10 on each one.

    - Check the flyer from LAST week. These items might still have the old, low price on the shelf, but scan at the regular price. That means an extra $10 off last week's sale price!

    - You might want to go with them when they check the price that's on the shelf. Otherwise, they could just pull off the sign and claim it wasn't there when you picked up the item.

    - Try going to the store the day BEFORE the sale. They might have put the signs up early, or they might not have updated the computer, yet. Either way, $10 off or a free item.

    - Look for items that were on sale last week for less than $10. If the sale price is still on the shelf, and it scans at the regular price, the item will be completely free. (It's MUCH easier to walk out of the store with a free item than to try getting a refund for the extra $10 off.)

    - If you are tempted to buy an item in the hope it will scan too high, always check it with an in-store scanner. Otherwise, you might be stuck trying to return the item, which means you might be stuck with it (given their inconsistenly applied return policies).

    - Try not to look too devious. If you look like you genuinely want the item, and you were tricked by their incorrect signage, they are more likely to follow their own policies. However, if they suspect you are trying to exploit their laziness/sloppiness, they might try to deny you your rightful discount.

    - Tell other shoppers about the free (or $10 off) items you find in the store.

    - Don't ever remind the staff to remove the incorrect sign; that will just spoil it for you or other smart "shoppers" later. Keep buying them until the realize they need to fix the sign themselves.

  3. #3
    Unregistered & Unforgiven
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    Re: Getting Free Stuff From CTC - Legally!

    Ahh, the free swag I've pulled out of Superstore with this little trick. Thank God for the bar code scanner code of practice and whoever thought it up.

    Only ever got a hassle at Superstore once and after e-mails to their head office it was fixed up proper.

    After spending some time on this site though, I don't know if I'd try it at CT. They might actually try to have me whacked out if I did.

  4. #4
    Posted by an unregistered user Guest-0391's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Free Stuff From CTC - Legally!

    the only part that is not right about this thread is the one bullet about the flyer mistakes

    if there is an error in print, a store can post a correction notice at the door, at the registers or at the shelf that says there was an error and this is the correct updated information. They often print corrections in news papers as well
    if they do any of the above, they do not have to give you what is printed in flyer at the price.
    be careful

  5. #5
    Active Member DavidLeR's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Free Stuff From CTC - Legally!

    I originally wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLeR View Post
    - The flyer contains an printing error (which they didn't fix in the flyer you have).
    You wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    if there is an error in print, a store can post a correction notice at the door, at the registers or at the shelf that says there was an error and this is the correct updated information. They often print corrections in news papers as well if they do any of the above, they do not have to give you what is printed in flyer at the price.
    Thanks for spotting this, and offering the full explanation.

    I recalled seeing something about retailers posting notices, but it took me some time to hunt down a reference:

    "Retail Council of Canada: Advocacy & Policy - National: Consumer Protection - Code of Practice: Scanner Price Accuracy Voluntary Code"

    It says, "When a retailer cannot immediately correct a scanning error in respect of a product, it will post a correction notice in a conspicuous place. Once such a notice has been posted, the Item Free Scanner Policy is no longer in effect in respect of the relevant product"

    I should have written:

    - The flyer or advertisement contains an printing error, and they have not posted a correction notice in a conspicuous place.

  6. #6
    Posted by an unregistered user Guest-0396's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Free Stuff From CTC - Legally!

    I'm a sales person on the floor. But whenever a cahier calls me blindly because she can't deal with a customer yelling at her telling her to give them the lower price I walk up to the counter calmly and explain to them:

    "Sir/Mam the price is as the computer dictates."
    They usually reply that they're entitled to the price for whatever reason, be it made up or a mistake of placing the product in the correct hole, the sale sign not being taken down (which DO have expiry dates on them), or it "looks like" something in the flyer with a different product number.
    "Well Sir/Mam, as much as you want it to be that price it isn't the case. All merchants can reserve the right to change price, null deals and specials, or DENY service where they see fit, As a PRIVATE company we are allowed to do this. Unfortunately we can not sell the item at this price because we would actually lose money. All we can offer you is an apology."

    I don't yell this, or scream this and I'm not rude just firm. I explain this AS THE LAW it is. And I do give them a hearted apology. Except in 90% of the cases, customers are out to get the lowest price no matter the cost and usually get loud thinking I'll either back down or give in. Regardless, I make it clear that whatever television show or friend of theirs explained to them is WRONG.

    No law can dictate what a private companies practices are unless they broach on out right theft or dishonesty.

    Recorded Warning

  7. #7
    Active Member DavidLeR's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Free Stuff From CTC - Legally!

    Pretty much everything you said about the law is wrong.

    Consumer Protection laws have a lot to say about how stores price items, and what price must be honoured. Legally, the store is required to honour the lowest displayed price (unless a correction notice has been posted).

    To learn more about the laws in Ontario, this is a good starting point: "Know Your Rights"

    Regarding the Scanning Code of Practice, pretty much everything you wrote is wrong, too, so I've decided it will be faster to just list the two things that are correct:

    1 - The lower price doesn't apply when the item doesn't match the tag (for example, was in the wrong bin).
    "1.4 To be eligible for the Item Free Scanner Policy, the product must match the product description on the corresponding shelf tag."
    2 - The lower price doesn't apply when the prices was "made up" (presumably by the customer):
    "1.5 The Item Free Scanner Policy does not apply if the barcode or shelf label for a given product has been tampered with."
    Now, on to some more of your errors:

    In addition to the usual Consumer Protection laws, Canadian Tire has committed to following the Scanning Code of Practice, which is described at the link I previously provided. For more clarification, you should check the link, or call 1-866-499-4599.

    Your customers can also call the number (1-866-499-4599) to file a complaint against you and your store.

    What this Code adds to the usual legislation, is an obligation for CT to give the customer an extra $10 off the first mis-priced item. For items that cost less than $10, the item is free.

    If your store doesn't want to honour the Code, they are free to stop being a Canadian Tire store. But, the CPA will still apply.

    I'm sure the customers appreciated your calmness and politeness while you misinformed them about their rights, but still you misinformed them, and denied them the lower price that they were entitled to, as well as the extra $10 off.

    You make the customers sound devious, just because they want CT to honour a price that they chose to advertise, and to follow the code they agreed to abide by. Well, the CP laws are there to protect consumers, and the Code was put in place to deal with stores that are trying to save money by using scanners, instead of manually stamping prices on each item in the store. The code is there to keep the stores honest.

    You may wish to do a little research on these issues before you publicly embarrass yourself again, and before you rip off another customer.

  8. #8
    Posted by an unregistered user Guest-0276's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Free Stuff From CTC - Legally!

    Surely these can't be the very employees CT owners are referring to for good customer service? Can it? Maybe they're the "experts who do this for a living and know the law and store policy" when it comes to returns, and dictate what and when the customer is and isn't entitled to.

    Hmmm I bet those guys are so smart and so good at what they do, they don't even need to look at the law or their own policies when dealing with customers. Hell, they so smart they even invented one policy to fit all situations - no refunds unless...And golly jorj, ain't that list getting a longer and longer?

    why go to canadian tire when you can shop at

    Walmart Canada - Save Money Live Better.

  9. #9

    Re: Getting Free Stuff From CTC - Legally!

    wow i would like to know what stores you guys shop at that you think looking for pricing errors is worth your time. I used to run a Canadian Tire and never let my staff argue the scanning code of practice. If we screwed up we took the loss, no questions asked. I dont think i ever had to adjust more than 10 or 15 prices in any given year. If these stores are really that bad at maintaing their prices go for it. I just hope your not getting peoples hopes up then just wasting their time

  10. #10
    Active Member DavidLeR's Avatar
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    Re: Getting Free Stuff From CTC - Legally!

    Quote Originally Posted by echo View Post
    wow i would like to know what stores you guys shop at that you think looking for pricing errors is worth your time.
    I suppose every store is different, but certain departments are worse than others. For some reason, automotive and housewares are especially bad.

    If someone is going to stop by the store anyway, it wouldn't take much more time to check out the flyer for the next day, and see what's going to be on sale for < $10. If a sign's been put up early, it only takes a minute to check on the scanner if the database is updated yet.

    For some reason, those silly bins that block the aisles seem to be the first to be updated.

    Or, you can come by the next morning, and while you are grabbing the latest door-crasher, have a look through yesterday's flyer for things that were on sale for < $10. If the old signs are still up, it's still only a minute of your time to see if the regular price is coming up. Snap a cell photo of the shelf sign if it scanned too higher, to speed up arguments with Customer Service.

    Sometimes the silly bins have been corrected, but the shelf signs for the same items haven't been taken down.

    I used to run a Canadian Tire and never let my staff argue the scanning code of practice. If we screwed up we took the loss, no questions asked. I dont think i ever had to adjust more than 10 or 15 prices in any given year.
    What surprises me is that you even told the staff. Around here, the signs are all hidden behind peanut brittle displays, and unknown to the cashiers.

    Back when I used to go to these stores, I got quite a few things for free. Muffin trays, cable ties, tarps, one time a kettle. I got a big bag of bungie cords for free, and went back the next day for a second freebie.

    I just hope your not getting peoples hopes up then just wasting their time
    I've sure they would be devestated :-)

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